USA. Ohio. Kent. May 4, 1970. Mary Ann Vecchio, a 14 year-old student, kneels beside Jeffrey Milley who’d been shot by the National Guard. Though the photo that first circulated turned out to be manipulated, this is the original, un-doctored version. This picture won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Kent State shootings occurred at Kent State University and involved the shooting of college students by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970. National Guardsmen fired into a group of unarmed students, killing four and wounded another nine—some marching against the Vietnam War and American invasion of Cambodia, some walking by or observing the protest from a distance. 

Guardsmen had on the previous day used tear gas to disperse protesters and, by May 4th, rallies were banned and classes resumed. But 2,000 people gathered in what quickly turned into confrontation. Tear gas and bayonets were met with rocks and verbal taunts, which were met with more than 60 rounds of gunfire. In 1974, all charges were dropped against eight of the Guardsmen involved. There were 28 guards who admitted to firing on top of the hill, 25 of these guards fired 55 rounds into the air and into the ground, 2 of the guards fired .45cal pistol shots, 2 into the crowd, and 3 into the air, one guard fired birdshot into the air. The guardsmen fired 61 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of four million students, and the event further affected public opinion—at an already socially contentious time—over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.

Photograph: John Filo/Getty

Calling liberal democracy the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is neither a metaphor nor exaggeration. “Free speech” and “universal suffrage” are not automatically signs of an actually free society. It’s a symptom of a more highly advanced dictatorship in this case. the reason, for example, the US affords so many “rights” is because the American ruling class is confident in their control.

But the moment these “rights” are used in a way that could lead to liberation, they fall over like the cardboard falsehoods they really are. And the only right that stands up on a foundation afterwards is the same Right claimed by the feudal kings and Roman patricians: the right for the strong to subject the weak to their will.

Look at what happened to the Paris Commune, the Black Power and anti-Vietnam War movements, and countless other popular organizations. When the status quo is threatened, bourgeois democracy reveals its true nature.

‘U.S. Get Out Of Vietnam Now!! Year of Solidarity with Vietnam / October 8-11’, Sponsored by the Black Panther Party, Young Lords Organization, and Students for a Democratic Society / Revolutionary Youth Movement, Chicago, 1969.


Julian Bond, a former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights for minorities, died on Saturday night (August 15, 2015), according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was 75.

He was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, while he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

He moved from the militancy of the student group to the top leadership of the establishmentarian N.A.A.C.P. Along the way, he was a writer, poet, television commentator, lecturer, college teacher, and persistent opponent of the stubborn remnants of white supremacy.

He also served for 20 years in the Georgia Legislature, mostly in conspicuous isolation from white colleagues who saw him as an interloper and a rabble-rouser.[X]

USA. Illinois. Chicago. October 11, 1969. Protesters Arrested During the Days of Rage.

The Days of Rage riots in Chicago took place over a 4-day period beginning October 8, 1969, after members of the Weathermen, a militant offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society, converged on the city to confront police in the streets in response to the trial of the group of anti-Vietnam War activists known as the “Chicago Eight”.

The riot began following a three-hour rally in the city’s Lincoln Park, a meeting that had begun with the construction of a bonfire. During the course of the rally, at least a dozen park benches were destroyed to keep the flames alive, with Weathermen members closing by urging the 600 attendees to “tear down the Drake Hotel and get Hoffman,” a reference to trial judge Julius Hoffman.

Heading both north and south on Clark Street, the rampaging mob broke windows and damaged cars along the way. This continued for several days, causing a large amount of property damage. One person was killed and many demonstrators were arrested. Some of the Weathermen members became fugitives and went underground when they failed to appear for trial in connection with their arrests during the riots; some only resurfaced decades later.

Photograph:Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos


Muhammad Ali passes away at the age of 74

Muhammad Ali passed away today at the age of 74, throughout his life he lived as a true inspiration, a man who fought for the sake of justice, what he believed in. Muhammad Ali not only broke records in the boxing ring as Heavy Weight World Champion, but also fought just as much for Civil Rights, his freedom to practice Islam and his identity as a Muslim, and the Anti-War Movement during the Vietnam War - even at the cost of prison, his World Champion title being stripped and being denied licenses and visas to continue his boxing career by the US government. Through all of that, he persevered and overcame his adversities, the best to ever do it in the world of boxing, and truly a champion in and outside of the ring.

Some clips from his life - 

Images via Time Magazine and USA Today Sports

Beginning in August, Broadway will play host to Encores! veteran Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking Hamilton, an examination of the birth of our nation. For years we’d been eyeing Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards’ musical 1776, and now seemed to be the exactly right moment for it. It was originally presented in 1969, at the height of the anti-Vietnam War movement and barely a year after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It proved, as Hamilton has, to be a complete and compelling surprise. Like Miranda’s piece, 1776 was a rumination on who we were supposed to be as a nation, filtered through the lens of the exact moment when it was created. It was a restless era on Broadway, and 1776 beat another experimental show, Hair, for the Tony Award for Best Musical that season. This proves nothing at all except that two very different kinds of theater were alive and well—if not exactly thrilled with each other—trying in two very different ways to take the pulse of the nation.
America welcomes permanent war: Vietnam and the demise of the anti-war movement
By Tom Engelhardt

In 2015, the spectacle of slaughter is still with us.  These days, however, few Americans have that sense that it might be happening right down the street.  War is no longer a part of our collective lives.  It’s been professionalized and outsourced.  And here’s the wonder of it all: since 9/11, this country has engaged in a military-first foreign policy across much of the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, launching an unending string of failed wars, conflicts, raids,kidnappings, acts of torture, and drone assassination programs, and yet Americans have remained remarkably unengaged with any of it.

A generation ago, protests helped bring an end to an unjust war. Now we turn a blind eye to extrajudicial murder